Divorce Attorneys Palatine
A divorce is a major step in anyone’s life, and because the outcome of your divorce will directly affect you and your children’s future, it’s important to give it the legal attention it deserves. If you are facing a divorce, it’s time to consult with an experienced divorce attorney in Palatine.
Your Unique Divorce
While you may know couples who have divorced and assume that your divorce will proceed much like theirs did, it’s important to understand that no two divorces are ever exactly alike. Further, a divorce that begins very amicably can morph into one that is hotly contested with seemingly no notice, and a highly contentious divorce can mellow as both parties face the reality of moving forward toward going to court. In other words, your divorce will be highly specific to you and your situation, and you should proceed accordingly.
The Universal Terms of Divorce
While it’s true that your divorce will be unique to you, the terms that you and your divorcing spouse must hammer out remain the same for every divorcing couple, including (as applicable):
- The division of marital property
- Child custody arrangements (called parental responsibilities and parenting time in Illinois)
- Child Support
- Alimony (called spousal maintenance in Illinois)
The Division of Marital Property
Those assets that you amass during your marriage are considered marital property, and they are to be divided equitably (or fairly) in the event that you divorce. Equitably does not necessarily mean equally, and the division of marital property can be quite complicated. Property that you bring into your marriage and keep separate will remain your separate property, but it isn’t unusual for the line between marital and separate property to blur.
Illinois divides child custody into parental responsibilities (legal custody) and parenting time (physical custody). Parental responsibility relates to who will be making the important, big-picture life decisions for your children moving forward, and it can be either sole or joint. Parenting time relates to the schedule by which you and your ex will split your time between your children. While parenting time can also be sole or joint, the court needs a very compelling reason for denying a parent at least some time with his or her children.
Child support in Illinois is calculated in accordance with state guidelines that take both parents’ incomes and the number of overnights each parent has with their shared children into consideration. Typically, the parent with fewer overnights pays child support to the other parent, but even if the children spend exactly the same amount of time with both of you, the parent with the higher income is likely to owe child support to the other.
While alimony is reserved for highly specific situations, it is an important financial tool when appropriate. If, for example, divorce leaves you at a financial disadvantage and your ex has the financial means to help you get back on your feet, alimony may be ordered.
Turn to an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Palatine
The trusted divorce attorneys at Andrea Heckman Law in Palatine are on your side and here to help. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.